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Tan Siok Kuan and Pute Ching vs Felicisimo Boy Ho et al

Facts: Petitioners being the registered owners of a parcel of land located at Apollo Street, San
Francisco del Monte, Quezon City filed seven (7) separate complaints for unlawful detainer
against Avelino Bombita, Felix Gagarin, Bernardo Napolitano, Felicisimo Boy Ho, Rodolfo
Returta, Vicente Salas and Lolita Malonzo for non payment of rentals. Petitioners aver that
they have been leasing the property to the defendants since 1972 and the latter stopped
paying the rents since 1996-1997. A demand letter for payment was served to the
defendants on February 7 2003 and in case of failure to pay within ten (10) days from receipt
of letter, defendants are ordered to vacate the premises.
Bombita, Gagarin and Napolitano argued for their part that the lease agreements they
have executed with petitioners are void ab initio, petitioners being Chinese nationals. While
Ho, Returta, Salas and Malonzo maintained that they have been in the possession of the
property for 37 years without any rentals being paid to anyone and that there are no existing
lease contracts between petitioners and respondents.
After trial, MeTc ruled in favor of petitioners considering that the defendants (Bombita,
Gagarin and Napolitano) have impliedly admitted the existence of lease contracts between
them and the petitioners. As for the respondents (Ho, Returta, Salas and Malonzo) their
denial of the existence of the lessor-lessee relationship is outweighed by the positive
testimony of the petitioners of its existence as the principle of law on evidence provides.
Upon appeal, RTC affirmed the decision of the MeTC en toto.
Respondents appealed the case to the CA questioning the finding of the lessor-lessee
relationship between petitioners and respondents in violation of the principle of res inter
alios acta. CA found the argument of the respondents tenable agreeing that petitioners have
materially failed to prove their right to eject respondents on the strength of being lessor
thereby reversing the ruling of the RTC.

Issue: Whether or not respondents may be ejected on the ground identified by petitioners.

Held: No. The Supreme Court found that the evidence on record generates a negative
conclusion to the establishment of the lessor-lessee relationship between the parties. There
has been no evidence shown, either expressed or implied of the existence of such
relationship except for the self-serving claims of the petitioners.
In Municipality of Batangas vs. Santos et al., unlawful detainer is defined as the action
that must be brought when possession by a landlord, vendor, vendee or other person of any
land or building is being unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right
to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied.
As such, failure to establish the existence of the contract either expressed or implied
renders the charge against respondents as lacking of merit and is therefore dismissed.

Note: The principle of res inter alios acta provides that the rights of a party cannot be prejudiced
by an act, declaration, or omission of another. Consequently, an extrajudicial confession is binding only
on the confessant, is not admissible against his or her co-accused and is considered as hearsay against
them. Defendants (Bombita, Garin and Napolitano) implied admission of an existing lessor-lessee
relationship between them and petitioners must not prejudice the defense of respondents.